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A Partnership born in Panama


Samuel Botero and Antonio Rimada blending talents

By Elsie Forbes

botero-hallWe all know the old saying: “when one door closes, another one opens”. I always add: there is also that hallway in between. Opportunities are always present. We just have to be aware of them and seize them and the moment. The hallway, pictured here in all of its magnificence, and painted by Antonio Rimada, is symbolic of transition, of connection and of opening to new possibilities.
Home is a sanctuary unlike any other. It shelters us from storms beyond our front door, nurtures body and mind, inspires imagination and delights the senses. Home often reflects the proclivities and desires of our selves and our lives, whether tranquil or vibrant, traditional or unconventional, predictable or eclectic, practical or flamboyant. Regardless of style, homes, like people, share a common attribute: they possess a soul. You feel it when you walk into a room washed in warm hues or sink into the impossibly soft down of a sofa. It’s present in the palette adorning walls and the textiles dressing furniture. Mansion or cottage, metropolitan or seaside, there truly is no place like home.
Few people capture the soul of a home with greater skill, creativity and vitality than the world-renowned interior designer, Samuel Botero, and the artist, Antonio Rimada. Perhaps it’s their profound understanding of people and space, their talent, skill and originality that make the interior designer and painter such an extraordinary team. Clearly, their innate talents come from the soul as well.
How does one begin describing two extra ordinary individuals? First, there is the illustrious designer Samuel Botero whose work I have followed for a decade or two. Within a second of our meeting, I knew I had met a warm, engaging, delightful man who made me feel welcome immediately. As one of the world’s most celebrated interior designers, Sam’s work has been seen numerous times in such prestigious magazines as Architectural Digest, AD 100, Avenue, Interior Design, Casas & Gente, the Design Times and the list goes on.
As a very young man in his native country of Columbia, Sam’s imagination began to blossom. Every day while walking to school, he would pass the Presidential Palace and see the money-printing machine. His family was of modest means, and money would be helpful. “I’ll just go and see the President and ask him to print some for my family,” he told his teacher. She, of course, knew this was impossible and tried to dissuade him, but gave in just enough to suggest that perhaps he write and request an audience. He did.
The President graciously invited Sam to come to the Palace as a result. Imagine a five or six year old child in a suit and tie sitting with the leader of a nation and asking to please print some money for his family. What a picture! While no special money was printed for Sam and his family, what happened for young Sam that day was even more significant. As he sat at the grand desk, his eyes feasted on fine art, marble inlays, carved mahogany furniture and a whole new world. One of the grandeur, grace and artistry that often accompanies wealth. Mesmerized by the exquisite architectural details and interior designs that graced the Palace, Sam’s first exposure to this other world planted a seed that would later grow into a brilliant career, a lifetime pursuit to create the finest environments possible. This moment was the doorway for his passage from one world into another.

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Antonio Rimada, an artist of extraordinary talent, with a unique and original perspective, who can create amazing environments on walls and other surfaces of the home. Imagine yourself enthralled, completely captivated by visuals that have an impact as powerful and moving as nature itself. As a young boy living in Venezuela, Antonio picked up a pencil and commenced a lifelong love of art. Encouraged by his father to follow his heart, Antonio spent his childhood drawing, painting, sculpting and creating remarkable art out of just about anything. Completely self-taught, Antonio acquired greater skill and mastered more divergent techniques by experimenting on his own than most artists develop during a lifetime of academic pursuit. Then, he made each work of art extraordinarily creative and exquisitely executed. An artist of the highest caliber, Antonio had yet to discern how he would apply his abundant talent.
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Copyright© 2011, Pan Am Publishing S.A., Republic of Panama